Friday, September 28, 2012

Rescue Plant

The mall I work at is landscaped, and serviced by, a professional plant company. They do wholesale changes of plants a couple of times a year (giving the areas a different "look"), and swap out individual plants when they get old-looking. Several months ago when the plants were last changed the company added colorful red, pink, and yellow bromeliads along with the basic greenery.

I've become friendly with a few of the people who care for the plants. Yesterday one of the woman came by the Customer Service desk and asked if I wanted one of the bromeliads she'd taken out.  It had a spent bloom, and she was just going to throw it away.  I'm already growing one bromeliad (a pineapple plant), so I decided I was up to the challenge of taking on this new plant.

According to the tag, my new plant was called Guzmania 'Marjan'.  The long, narrow, green leaves were arranged in a rosette that formed a reservoir, with a stalk rising from that. Originally the flower spike was a bright yellow color but now it was brown and dried-out looking.  A few of the leaves had seen better days, too.  I put the plant in the office, then carried it out to the car when my shift was over.  It was two feet tall, and top heavy. I had trouble keeping it upright on the passenger seat floor of my car.

When I got home I brought the plant inside, cut off the flower spike as close to the leaves as I could, then set the pot on the east-facing window seat in the kitchen next to the two orchids that don't spend the summer outside.  Of course the cats had to investigate, but it didn't take them long to pronounce it acceptable.

Technically, I won't be taking care of this plant for very long. Bromeliads only bloom once, and their sole purpose in life after blooming is to grow new plants, called pups, for the next year.  When the pups have developed a small rosette of leaves and are about half the size of the mother plant you can separate them and put each new plant in its own pot.

The tags says my Guzmania needs medium light, moist soil, and an average temperature of 55-80 degrees. That sounds like the requirements for all my plants. This new plant does have one unique care requirement, though. The center of the rosette is supposed to be kept filled with water (ideally  distilled).  I'll do my best to remember to do that. The plant will either thrive, or it can go in the compost pile.


  1. oh good luck with this one! I have an orchid plant a bit over a year old and am hoping it will bloom again one day.

  2. Wow! I have a well established brown thumb, but I can see that you are definitely an expert at this. I know you'll get the plant thriving in no time.

  3. Kathy sounds like this plant has found a new loving home, that's awesome the people who look after the plants thought of you.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Good luck on birthing a new plant. Sounds like something interesting to watch.